New Zealand Foreign Minister Brownlee committed to restoring NZ-Israel relations

May 3, 2017 by Keren Cook
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Recently appointed New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee is now actively working to restore diplomatic relations with Israel.

Gerry Brownlee

Brownlee received his ministerial warrant on Tuesday and soon after wrote to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to get the relationship back on track.

“I’ve sent a letter to Mr Netanyahu yesterday firstly congratulating them on their national day but expressing a desire for the Israeli-New Zealand relationship to get back on track and to do that by recognising that we’ve got synergies and innovation and agriculture and various other things like that.”

Mr Brownlee confirms there is further work to be done but remains resolute around the importance to restore the relationship to how it was before.

“I think that’s important because it’s part of the world that continues to be challenged by not only rogue states, but rogue terrorists as well,” says Brownlee.

Last year in December, Israel withdrew it’s ambassador from New Zealand and belated travel rights of New Zealand’s ambassador to Israel, based in turkey, after New Zealand co-sponsored a Security Council Resolution condemning its continued settlements in the West Bank.

Netanyahu was angry at New Zealand’s involvement in the UN resolution, which passed unanimously. The Israeli Prime Minister called former Foreign Minister Murray McCully and reportedly threatened to interpret New Zealand’s sponsorship as a “declaration of war.”

New Zealand has opposed Israel’s settlement on the West Bank on the bank on the basis that it undermines the widely accepted two-state solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

Brownlee says he expects the letter would enable the respective foreign ministries to start discussion with the view to re-establish diplomatic connections.



4 Responses to “New Zealand Foreign Minister Brownlee committed to restoring NZ-Israel relations”
  1. Leon Poddebsky says:

    Perhaps Mr Brownlee’s desire for a restoration of normal diplomatic relations and co-operation is motivated by his government’s desire to gain access to classified information which New Zealand could pass on to Iran and other regimes that are friendly to New Zealand.
    Mr Brownlee, there’d be a few dollars’ worth in that, eh?
    You know, like those “business opportunities” in Iran that Australia’s Ms Bishop referred to following that famous Iran deal that Nobel laureate, Obama, engineered to keep us safe during peace for our time.

  2. Leon Poddebsky says:

    Does Israel have anything substantial to gain from a restoration of ties to a venomously hostile pro-Arab New Zealand regime?

  3. Michael Kuttner says:

    The very first thing which needs doing is for NZ’s PM to apologise for his support of UN resolution 2334. Failure to do so only confirms that nothing has changed. So long as NZ adheres to worn out and patently false assertions regarding the legality of the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria their efforts will be fruitless.

  4. john nemesh says:

    Leave it up to Israel.
    Personally i will avoid buying NZ for anything if possible in the future and present

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